And I’m back – up and running. Welcome to 2013 and some new challenges…

Well 2012 was pretty much a disaster blog wise and I expect 2013 will be the same but I will try to make it work this year!

As with any new year a salesmans year starts with all the counters being rest to a big fat zero and the preverbial mountain to climb, this can be depressing but also a nice challenge. This year will be even different as I am now somewhat in charge of the sales efforts, previously the sale team reported in the CMO but now they report to me! Its not a huge team (4 people including me) but it now means I am (more) accountable than before…..

The year has started well as I am trying to finishes this with some good orders received from both new and current customers, its always good to start well and get off of zero!

With the new role not alot will change but I will be able to help out and make suggestions for things to be done rather than having to run them past someone else first. I like to think I always contributed some sales ideas to the effort and now will try to step that up.  So the long and tall of a ‘promotion’ is a little bit more cash (although not much once the taxman has his pound of flesh) and more accountability, I am comfortable and happy with this change.

As with previous years (more than I care to remember) this one starts with booking travel and getting ready for time on the road. The first trip this year is again to Pacific Telecoms Council (PTC) event on Honolulu which isnt bad! The event is a good way to kick off the year, I get to meet people from all parts of the world and have a few beers in the sun at the same time!

Hopefully I will remember to update the blog either during or after the travel, I will even try for some pictures…

And I’m back – up and running. Welcome to 2013 and some new challenges…

Pressing ahead and chasing the numbers (the circle of professional sales life)…

Well this has been a draft for sometime, no content but just the title and maybe now if the time to actually write something down. So why is it a good time? Well Q3 has just passed and the main sales target has been reached, other might follow and some will fall short some for reasons within my control and some outside of my control.

Once the target has been reached there is no joyful feeling really but thoughts turn to trying to match (and exceed) the targets that will be given for 2013. It appears that a life in sales is one blur of chasing numbers and then starting all over again, still I enjoy it and it means a constant challenge. I sometimes wonder how people with no measurable targets in their work (and life) manage to keep motivated and find the energy to get up in the morning!

Anyway i am busy writing the plan for 2013, it promises to be an interesting year from an AMS-IX point of view. We are expanding the sales force further, I see strong competition in the Datacenter market in Amsterdam (good for me), competition from other IX’s (some more than others),  the AMS-IX HK project is building momentum and there will be more AMS-IX sites across the world.

So what will be in my plan? Well I can’t write it here for obvious reasons i.e. some of my competition follow me and I dont want to give anything away… But I have some new ideas to supplement the proven methods I use, some conventional and some less so. Only time will tell if it will work but i will drive it the best I can and hope to get the buy-in of the entire team to make it work.

Still tomorrow I am off to Frankfurt for the CNX6 event, it will be my first trip to Germany this year – which is unforgivable I guess but the numbers are good so guess I am allowed….

Pressing ahead and chasing the numbers (the circle of professional sales life)…

Targets close and the travel circus starts again!

Well its been a while, things have been slow at work but still managed to almost do the main target already.

The expected summer ‘quiet period’ for picking up new customers didnt really happen and Q2 / Q3 (to date) have been very productive. At the time of writing there have been 75 new customers / members making the commitment to join AMS-IX in 2012 which is pretty good. We are actually close to hitting the yearly target and will do so in Q3 then things will slow down as we try to line up 2013. Along with the new customers comes the capacity / upgrade sales and they are coming along nicely.

Well as the summer is over it is time for the conference season to begin again, next week is the first trip and I am off to Africa! In terms of the digital world Africa is moving at an ever increasing pace with lots of demand and smart, resourceful people trying to get things moving. It is often said (in terms of conectivity) that it is the best connected continent in the world but the problem is the connectivity stops at the beach…….

This will be my first trip to Tanzania and also a first long haul flight with British Airways! My preferance is to fly KLM (for the free tickets) but they are just so so expensive currently so I am sharing the business around.

Anyway will write more later, need to catch a plane!

Targets close and the travel circus starts again!

The Boston trip – Hostingcon

So I have been back a week now and its about time I put some thoughts down about the trip (as I promised too). The event was pretty good with a lot of technical sessions but also two commercial halls, so the people knew what they were going to get which was good.

The event was very USA focused in terms of the companies in attendence but alot of those are either in Europe or looking for POP’s in Europe so the auidence was good. I did not make so many appointments in advance but was helped by the fact two of our colocations (TelecityGroup and Evoswitch) had  booths there and I was free to hang around and meet people.

The guys from Evoswitch (our newest location / and from TelecityGroup (AMS-IX largest location / are all very knowledgeable, inventive and not to mention fun! I expect great things from them both in the coming months and will do everything I can to help out where I can. Of course we have other locations that need time and attention too and I will do my best to get around them all. An overview of the Datacenter market in Amsterdam is for another entry at another time.

All in all I met alot of exisiting customers but also managed to unearth some decent prospects which I hope to close soon. With a fair wind I will be able to atribute 3 new logo’s and somewhere between 20 and 60 GE’s of traffic to this event (which is pretty good in comparison to other events).

As for the event, it was organised well and in a good location, to say that it was well sponsored would be an understatement! I had a free pick up from the airport (with sales pitch), my room key was sponsored, every morning multiple flyers were pushed under my door but, most importantly, there was lots of free beer and networking!

The socials at the event were held in close proximity to the hotel (Sheraton Boston) is a string of bars, hence there was alot of overlapping and mixing of parties (good for networking but not for the liver)!

All in all a good trip for the business and, schedule permitting, will be on the agenda for next year (Austin, Texas I am told).

It was my first visit to Boston and hopefully not the last. I was told it was very European but to be honest didnt see so much of that, nice place all the same and not your typical US city. A special thanks go’s to Bob from Renesys for showing us the sights and finding a great authentic Chinese restaurant.

So in summary a good trip where I met a different section of the industry and I was able to expand my network somewhat.

The Boston trip – Hostingcon

First half of 2012 – Hostingcon 2012, a new event and a new city.

The first half of 2012 has been good in terms of results at AMS-IX with, some higher than normal, targets hit and exceeded. You could say we have been lucky but the harder you work the luckier you get! Once again the Reseller program is proving a good channel to bring ports to AMS-IX and this year we have a new name at the top of the leader board (I wonder if they can stay) and also (very importantly) a couple of other resellers have stepped up and brought in members. In total we brought in over 50 new customers with over 100 x 10GE connections making up new capacity. The second half of the year is looking good with the pipeline in good shape with a fair number of larger connections (+10GE).

Well next week I am off to Hostingcon in Boston ( which is both a new event and a new city for me so will be interesting one way or another.

This year I am trying alternative events to see if I can expand the network (and thus business further). I will still be a regular on the (great) events run by Capacity Media but it never hurts to go to different things and meet different people. In my opinion the Capacity events are THE PLACE to meet the carriers who own / run the networks but I also need to do more on meeting the people who use those networks and take ports at AMS-IX, hopefully this will be the place.

Well before I get on the plane a small matter of my oldest daughters 4th birthday party needs to be taken care of, lets hope the sun shines (for the first time this summer).

Updates on the travel (and birthday) to follow.

First half of 2012 – Hostingcon 2012, a new event and a new city.

Back from Chicago, onto the AMS-IX event……

Well ITW was all it promised to be, very busy and non stop from 7am until well after midnight! The conference was good and, as ever, we managed to see a lot of CEO’s and decision makers as well as get some firm leads. Having an extra person there in the team helped and it allowed us to accomodate the numerous last minute meetings and schedule changes.

This was my thrid year at ITW and the first year the event had been held in Chicago, my first time there and what a great city! I normally dont like going to the US but this was different, no line at immigration, a very nice plane to get there and staying in a city like you see in the movies! The venue (Hyatt) took some getting used too but was much better than the venue in Washington albeit the normal problems with the lifts but what can you expect when 6,000 people descend on one hotel.

As ever the socials were great, I attended the Epsilon event (great venue up a tower), the Blue City event (top of the old sears tower), the PACNET event at the Cubs game was an experience and, as ever, the Pantel party was not to be missed.

I now have a pile of work to do following up all the promises I made to customers and leads!

Last week was the AMS-IX More-IP event which was pretty well attended but the majority of attendees were from the local ISP community (although the IPX session went well too). The highlight was the comedian from Boom Chicago, its a shame there were not so many people in attendance. We are slowly transforming the event from a ‘dutch club’ to a ‘international crown’ this will take time but we are getting there.

As for the next trip, well I dont know as I need to plan things in the coming days. The usual suspects of Prague, Moscow and U.A.E will appear but might be a few new places on the horizon such as Boston and Bangkok. Will keep you posted.

More soon, maybe even my views on marketing people and some twitter spam I received!

Back from Chicago, onto the AMS-IX event……

Back from China, getting ready for ITW (Chicago)

Had a good trip to China and met some interesting people at the conference, a real mix of people from across China, Asia and Europe. The market in China is ‘different’ but I managed to open some doors and hopefully things will happen in the (probably) longer term.

Some of the highlights of China were the joint meetings with Hutchison Global Communications held with people who are interested in connecting to our new join venture (AMS-IX HK). Interest is high and it is just a matter of closing some deals. Watch this space! I also had the pleasure of visiting some of the big carriers in their offices, nice to be invited and get out the madness of the conference bubble. Business is china is complicated but its a matter of time and meeting the correct people – something I am trying to achieve. I have a pile of follow-up to do and I am mostly done with it, with a bit of luck it will lead to more work and some new customers.

An added bonus was a free upgrade on the flight on the way home, on an 11 hour flight it makes a difference – a big thanks to China Southern Airlines!

Well no sooner am I back and it’s time to get ready for ITW in Chicago, the agenda is filling up nicely with good meetings and, of course, the evening events. ITW is a great event for us as we meet people from all over the world, the mail problem is fitting in all the meetings!

Anyway will give an update after the event.


Back from China, getting ready for ITW (Chicago)